The Popularity of Puppy Play by Lady Pim
The Popularity of Puppy Play
By Lady Pim
There's a reason that Puppy Play is on the rise. Actually, there are many reasons. This weekend I've had the pleasure of observing three actual dogs in their natural habitat (my parent's bungalow), and it's got me thinking about why humans love role playing as dogs so much.
Puppy Play, for those of you who are unaware, is a lighthearted type of power exchange roleplay that is accessible to kink newbies and veterens alike. It involves a Dominant player or Handler, and a Submissive player (or several submissives) usually called Pups. Pups are folks who have a desire for the primal role of a dog. This can mean many different things for its players, and there is a large spectrum of how people choose to explore this kink. One of my parent's dogs has currently usurped my foot as its pillow, so now is as good a time as any, to write about the exploration of this fetish that is ever growing in popularity.
Pup Play can intersect with lots of other fetishes, can involve being part of a Pack, and can include expensive and elaborate gear; but at its simplest form, it can be a very easy and low pressure kink to start out with. All you need to do, is get on your hands and knees. A super satisfying start up scene can be getting scratched behind the ear for ten minutes. As the Pup, all you need to do is receive the stimulation from your Handler. That's it. And, not even that. How many actual dogs do you know that get bored? Wander away? Start barking at something outside? The metaphorical doggie door opens to the unlimited scenes you can create.
Puppy Play, as far as I'm concerned, is the kink that can most closely resemble actualy play. This kink's most attractive feature is probably the carefree nature. Not that more intense scenes can't exist, but as I watch my Mom's chihuahua mix chase a ball across the room, I can't help but envy the simplicity of a dog's daily tasks. Humans engaging in Puppy Play often desire to access this feeling. There's something very meditative and soothing about completing basic tasks like doing tricks, engaging in repetitive types of play like fetch, receiving affectionate touch like getting pet on the head. That said, emptying your mind and being in the moment can be difficult for some. Especially when you're doing something new; something that may feel pretty silly at first, and all with someone watching over you. Pup Space, as it's called, can take a lot of focus and practice. The important thing is to try and have instant forgiveness for yourself when you feel your mind start to wander. Take each scene as a personal challenge to go deeper than the last one. People practice kink on a learning curve, and Pet Play is no exception. Take mental note of things that allow you to drop into your primal persona easily, and communicate them to your Handler afterwards. Is it a certain phrase? The ritual of putting of a specific piece of equipment? Being touched in a certain way?
People are also drawn to Pup Play because it doesn't characteriscally involve torture or torment. It can if you want it to, but in general, Pet Play is a way to engage in kink and power exchange roleplay that isn't centered around receiving pain. Stereotypically, folks assume that all types of BDSM and fetish involve severity and pain infliction. Subs and Bottoms who don't fall under that category often wonder where they fit in, in the kink community. To have a fetish that doesn't hinge on punishment, restraint, or degradation is very welcoming for beginners, and can be a great change of pace for folks that do like painful or intense sessions. My parents use a spray bottle filled with water on their dogs, and even that seems a little cruel! It can be said the same things for Tops and Dominants who identify on the sensual, sensitive side of the spectrum. Having a human puppy allows you to openly show affection, offer appreciation, and give rewards to your Sub. There is no pressure whatsoever for Pup Play scenes and their players to mimic to the stereotypical severity of BDSM play.
Something that will influence and deepen the type of play you engage in, is your Pup persona. What type of Puppy are you? Energetic and playful? Bratty or naughty? Sweet and Snuggly? Social? Quiet? We've got the full range here at my parents' house. Three distinct personalities that need different types of stimuli, enjoy different foods, and watch different TV shows (I'm not kidding, they all watch TV). Many folks who engage in Puppy Play identify with a specific breed, which can help shape the personality of your Puppy. But, it's important to point out that you don't have to know all this before beginning. Specifics like a breed may naturally emerge over time, and sometimes not at all, and can also change depending on how you feel! This low pressure setting leaves a lot of wiggle room to grow and develop your Pup Play skillset over time.
Another appealing feature, is how other types of kink can intersect with Pet Play. Obedience training might be the most obvious one. A Handler can have lots of fun teaching their Pup all sorts of tricks and skills. Make sure to give lots of encouragement to your Pup: you've heard the way people talk to dogs when they're being cute and behaving well. Give them a scratch under the chin, a "Good Boy", or a treat for a job well done. Decide what kinds of discipline they would like beforehand. Keep a crop onhand, or use a choke chain, or a spray bottle (like my parents). Sorry, but I have to stop for a second and mention that one of the dogs just got out of the bath and is running around like a MANIAC. Which brings me to Grooming. Giving your Pup a bath, clipping their nails, or brushing their hair or teeth can be very therapeutic for both Puppy and Handler. Don't forget the rubbing and running around after. What about a trip to the Vet? Many Pup Play enthusiasts enjoy overlapping medical play. Watersports? What can I say? Sometimes there are accidents, and a Pup needs to be properly house trained. Group play? Definitely. After experimenting with a couple solo scenes, attending a Pup Play Party could be a great next step. Group play may help you feel more comfortable, and get to Pup Space a little easier than alone with your Handler. It also opens up lots of other activities, like wrestling with other Pups, sniffing other Pup butts, and asserting your dominance in a pack. There's also much to learn from watching other Handlers and Pups engage in their own unique dynamic. Lastly, another obvious cross over is having sex. Again, it isn't required, but is often enjoyed together with Pet Play scenes. After all, they're already on all fours, often use a butt plug tail. Many of the people who engage in this dynamic find the Master/Submissive roleplay very erotic! Something to mention: as you move into overlapping fetishes that usually require safewords, be aware that you may need to alter them for Pup Play scenes. Since Pups cannot speak, it may be difficult for them to find their usual safe words if necessary. Try using something in the Puppy's vocabulary, like a squeaky toy or special bark.
If you're looking to invest in this kink, what kind of gear can you buy? Well, since Puppy Play has origins in the leather community, there is a excess of available gear for purchase. A collar and leash is a great place to start, and if you're kinky, odds are you've already got one on hand. If you're looking to engage in lengthy scenes on your hands and knees, knee pads and gloves are a good investment for your comfort and health. Bontage mittens are available, that bind your hands into something that more resembles paws. Most people move onto tails (anal plugs or otherwise). Gags are use to restrict speech. Chest harnesses, ears, or full masks with snouts are usually next on the 'To Buy' list. Whatever gets you into Pup Space easier, and keeps you there longer. I would recommend trying out the non-sexual gear at a fellow enthuiasts house first. See how it feels to wear that mask before spending hundreds of dollars on one. At the very least, go into a sex or kink shop where you can hold the products in your hand first. Feel the maliability of the material, the softness of the finish, the exact sizing. Buying intimate gear online, where you cannot do this, is always risky. That said, Puppy Play, like most other kinks, has a very low start up cost. The equipment isn't necessary for play. It's meant entirely for enhancement. Don't let anyone tell you that you're not a "real" Pup unless you have all the fancy accoutrements. And if anyone insinuates it, bite their head off. You have my permission.